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Somvichian, Kamol (1969) The Thai military in politics : An analytical study. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London.

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Abstract

This thesis is concerned with the political change of mid-twentieth century Thailand and the role of the armed forces in that change. The thesis is divided into four sections: the traditional polity, the emergence of the military in politics in the contemporary era, the performance and style of the military-dominated government, and the political resources and characteristics of the officers. The approach is historical and descriptive. The first part (Chapter One: Traditional Background) attempts to show the relationship between the military and the civil bureaucracy in the history of Thailand (Siam). It emphasises the vague and largely artificial distinction between the civil and military authority. It examines the "modernisation" of the Thai army since its beginning. It tries to show that this modernisation did not represent a major transformation in the role of the military but that this modernisation was merely a veneer. The second part (Chapter Two: The Military in the Constitutional Era) is a detailed study of the revolution of June, 1932, which brought about the collapse of direct monarchical rule in Thailand. It attempts to demonstrate how a coup d'etat is prepared and launched. It then evaluates the problems facing the soldiers and their collaborators after the successful take-over of the government. The third part (Chapter Three: The military in World War II; Chapter Four: The Military in Postwar Politics) is intended to provide an account of the political crisis before and after the Japanese invasion of Thailand in December, 1941, a crisis resulting in the downfall of the Phibun Songkhram government in August, 1944. There follows an account of the events surrounding the return of Field Marshal Phibun in November, 1947, and the subsequent coups and couter-coups. The performance and problems of the Thai government from 1947 to 1957 are analysed, and the internal power struggle among different cliques and factions which led to the collapse of the Phibun Songkhram regime in September, 1957 is described. The last part (Chapter Five: The Army: Organisation, Education, and Resources; Chapter Six: Characteristics of the Thai Military Government) is an analytical study of the armed forces' power base, their political style, and outlook. We discuss the organisational structure, the administration, education, and financial resources of the military, and attempt to understand the officers' self-image. We conclude with the accomplishments and problems of the Thai government from 1958 until the present, and recent trends in Thai politics. 3 an account of the political crisis before and after the Japanese invasion of Thailand in Deoeinlior, 1941s a crisis resulting in the downfall of the Phi'bun Songkhram government in August, 1944. There follows an account of the events surrounding the return of Field Marshal Phibun in November, 1947, and the subsequent coups and counter-coups. The performance and problems of the Thai government from 1947--1957 are analysed, and the internal power struggle among different cliques and factions which led to the collapse of the Phibun Songkhram regime in September, 1957 is described. The last part (Chapter Five: The Avmjz Organisation, Education, and Resources; Chapter Six: Characteristics of the Thai Military Government) is an analytical study of the armed forces' power base, their political style, and outlook. I discuss the organisational structure, the administration, education, and financial resources of the military, and attempt to understand the officers' self-image. We conclude with the accomplishmencs and problems of the Thai government from 1958 until the present, and recent trends in Thai politics.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:05
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/29015

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